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Swedish defenceman Alex Edler suspended two games for knee-on-knee hit on Staal

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STOCKHOLM - Swedish defenceman Alex Edler was suspended for the remainder of the IIHF World Championship on Friday for delivering a knee-on-knee hit on Canadian forward Eric Staal.

Edler was tossed from Thursday's quarter-final after the first-period incident. Sweden went on to win 3-2 in a shootout.

Staal writhed on the ice in pain and did not return to the game. The Canadian captain, who plays for the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes, was on crutches and wearing a brace on his right knee following the loss.

Edler will miss Sweden's semifinal against Finland on Saturday and the medal game Sunday. Switzerland will play the United States in the other semifinal.

The IIHF independent disciplinary panel deemed Edler’s action as reckless, dangerous and in disregard to the vulnerability of his opponent, the IIHF said on its website.

Edler, who plays for the Vancouver Canucks, was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct. The panel determined that he should have been given a match penalty for a violation of rule 536b (kneeing).

It was the 26th suspension in the tournament since 2010.

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